, Volume 152, Issue 3, pp 259-266

Kinetics of ribosome synthesis during a nutritional shift-up inEscherichia coli K-12

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The rates of total protein synthesis, polyribosome formation and 70S ribosome accumulation were measured following a nutritional shift-up ofEscherichia coli K-12. Changes in ribosome content and distribution during the shift-up were measured by examining the total cellular content of free and polysome-associated ribosomes using a sensitive double isotope labeling method. The kinetics of ribosomal subunit formation and the biosynthesis of subunit protein and RNA species were also defined. The results indicated that a pre-shift population of ribosomal subunits was utilized for the immediate post shift increase in both total and ribosomal-specific protein synthesis. An assembly time for new subunits of about 3 min was observed. The formation of certain ribosomal proteins during the shift suggested that new subunit assembly was limited by the rate of synthesis of particular ribosomal proteins during this growth transition.

Communicated by G. A. O'Donovan